Zapatero has refused today, again, for the Spanish government to publish the wealth redistribution information between the Spanish Autonomous Communities.
This type of information which in federal countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada or Belgium is completely public in Spain has only been published once in the last 35 years, in 2008, and was at the request of the Catalan parties.
The latest data available published by the Generalitat and the Spanish Governmenthere (PDF in catalan , but you don’t need to read catalan to see the numbers), shows that Catalonia suffers a fiscal plundering (the difference between taxes collected in Catalonia and investment returned by Spain) which in 2005 alone amounted to 9.8% of the Catalan GDP.
Another presentation by the Spanish Ministry of Finance (PDF in Spanish) shows how the Catalan Countries (Catalonia >9% , Valencian Country >6% and Balearic Islands >14% !! ) are the net tax contributors to the Spanish state.
Comparing the Catalan case (9.8%) to federal countries where the limit of wealth redistribution, limited by law, is much smaller like Germany (4%), Canada (2%), USA (2.5%) one can only imagine how this plundering or “wealth redistribution”, which in Spain is opaque and unlimited has been hurting the Catalan economy and welfare for the last 30 years.
This gets only worse since in the Catalan Government has inherited an awful debt situation, which amounts to about 30.000+ million euros, and while the new Catalan government is inflicting severe cuts to the Catalan welfare system (education, health care, etc) it is interesting to note that without the Spanish plundering, which amounts to approximately 22000 million euros for each of the last couple of years, there would not only be enough cash to pay the bills but it would be possible to increase public spending to alleviate the crisis situation.